Authorities in Japan's northeastern prefecture of Miyagi have begun destroying about 220,000 chickens at a poultry farm after a bird flu virus was detected in dead birds.A total of 96 chickens were found dead between Tuesday and Thursday, at the farm in the city of Kurihara. Prefectural officials say genetic testing on some of the dead birds isolated the H5 type of virus.The officials asked for cooperation of the Self-Defense Forces and started culling early on Friday morning. They say they plan to complete the procedure within 3 days.The officials have banned 3 other poultry farms within 3 kilometers of the stricken facility from moving chickens and eggs.They also forbid 2 other poultry farms that are located outside the 3-kilometer radius but within 10 kilometers of the affected site from moving chickens and eggs out of the area.Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai said prefectural officials will work with the central government and the Self-Defense Forces and do their utmost to quickly bring the situation under control. He said authorities will try to block the spread of bird flu by keeping people away from the affected farm.Murai said this is the first time an outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed at a poultry farm in Miyagi. He added authorities will carry out the culling in a way that prevents any additional problems.
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